February 14, 2019–Happy Valentine’s Day to you all!

I had a hard time figuring out, how to express my fond remembrance of this day. The big deal is that I am a guilty “hopeful” romantic myself. But really, come to think of it, why not celebrate, when there’s reason for it? Come to think of it, out of more than seven billion others in this world, you have that seemingly destined someone who brings you a million joyful things in life? Isn’t that a blessing? As corny as corny does, I think it’s special

In fact, in Wales, to profess their love, men painstakingly hand-carve wooden spoons. Their tradition started when Welsh sailors while on seas, labored with their hands to bring their lovers home.

In United Kingdom, it has been scores that Valentine’s Day is celebrated through exchanges of greeting cards and red roses. However, in old days, there was a myth that signing one’s name can rift lovers apart.

In China, it’s Qixi. Although, it is a yearly feast celebrated in August, the purpose is to give back and or pray for successful marital/romantic relationships.

In Japan and South Korea, the antique etiquette applies, “ladies<go>first-“ as gals make their first move in gifting their men. And the most popular among Japanese, are homemade chocolates.

In Denmark, lovers exchange pressed white flowers called snowdrops instead of roses to pledge love or adulation.

In Italy, beating French’s way of Valentine’s Day, young Italians and hardcore romantics gather in gardens to recite and or hear poetry. Some do their recitals while walking, or strolling, and holding hands.

In Philippines (my native country), mass weddings on Valentine’s Day are being held so often lately. But even if it’s not Valentine’s Day, we, Filipinos are romantics at heart. In fact, serenade or harana is still being practiced to this very modern day (mostly in the country side).

Here, in the United States, restaurants and hotels are fully booked in dinner reservations; while Hallmark and florists rake sales.

Note that celebrating Valentine’s Day amongst couples is undoubtedly healthy. See it as a way to keep the romance going; and to assure each other’s appreciation and affection. Not to mention, holding on is such a challenge. So to count days, months, years, and decades of togetherness—is truly a gift. Not everyone is blessed. This is why, dating Websites such as Match and are in business.

Finally, February 14 marks the worldwide celebration of Valentine’s Day: There are lots of myths about its origin. In one of them, St. Valentine was a priest, who violated a king’s rule (of keeping men single) by officiating weddings; but he was caught and sentenced to death. There are two more other similar stories to this; but in all of them, St. Valentine was a martyr. With that being said, should we view love as a sacrifice rather than joy?

Regardless, all relationships are complicated; for the paradox of humanity is complexity. But one way to simplify, is to liberate each other of any issues or dilemmas, and to just celebrate togetherness every time there’s an opportunity such as this occasion. To invest in the good times; and to keep creating memories of how beautiful it is to love and be loved–because nothing is more precious than that.

YouTube/The Last Time I Felt Like This/Joanna Ampil, Ariel Rivera